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Japan, U.S. reject calls by China, Russia for easing sanctions on DPRK

Saturday morning’s Yomiuri and Sankei wrote that during a UN ministerial conference on North Korea chaired by Secretary of State Pompeo on Thursday, the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers urged the participants to relax economic sanctions on North Korea. While noting that Secretary Pompeo and Japanese Foreign Minister Kono emphasized the importance of enforcing UNSC sanctions resolutions thoroughly, the dailies expressed concern that international pressure on the Kim regime may weaken because coordination is reportedly underway between Washington and Pyongyang to arrange a second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim.

 

In a related development, all Sunday papers wrote that during his speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri reiterated Chairman Kim’s “firm commitment” to denuclearization. However, he also called for U.S. concessions by saying that his country will never relinquish its nuclear arsenal unless it is assured of regime security, which he said would require trust in the United States. The top DPRK diplomat stressed the importance of confidence building with the Trump administration, adding that denuclearization must be implemented based on a “synchronous, action-for-action” principle. 

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